Spain heavily influenced its colonies, so much so that Philippines and Mexico have similarities in dishes with menudo being one of them. Although Mexican menudo comes in soup form, both menudo dishes use offal, in which Filipino menudo includes liver and Mexican menudo includes tripe. With the Spanish galleons or Galeones de Manila-Acapulco, a relationship between Philippines and Mexico was formed and each touched the culture of the other; hence, the dish similarities between an Asian Pacific island nation and a North American country. From the perspective of people who rebelled and resisted colonization, I’m sure Magellan was already cursed by many for “discovering” nations that were already settled in and likely Madre España even received a lot of back talk (ahem, among other things). And in the 1800s, both nations revolted. Understandably so.
Moving on from history and into food (not the band, obviously, but more on that later)… Filipino menudo is meaty and filling. There are many recipe variations available and different regions in Philippines have their own version. Knowing this, I looked into the recipes online then asked my Mom for her take on Filipino menudo. With this traditional recipe as a guide and following my Mom’s preference of chicken over pork and my Aunt Mildred’s style of marinating the liver (as told to me by mi mama), I set out to create my own version of menudo.
1 lb chicken, cut in small cubes
1/4 lb chicken liver, cut in small chunks
2 links chorizo Bilbao, cut in small chunks
1/2 cup of chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
4 small potatoes or 2 large potatoes, cubed
2 bell peppers, diced
1 can of chickpeas/ garbanzo beans
1/2 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tbs of brown sugar
2 tsp of fish sauce/ patis
1 tbs of cider vinegar or rice vinegar
olive oil or vegetable oil
salt and paprika to taste
Mix the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce, add the liver to marinate. Sauté garlic and onion in oil until soft. Add the chicken and chorizo. Cover until partially cooked then add the liver with the marinade. Cover the pan until the meats are fully cooked. Add the potatoes, bell peppers, and chickpeas. Allow to cook covered using medium heat, then add the raisins. Season with salt and paprika. Cook in low heat until the raisins become plump then turn off heat.
Smile and serve with rice.
Having tasted the dish for the first time, The Hubby found it to be flavorful and textural. Being hearty, Filipino menudo could be just as good as Mexican menudo in “curing” hangovers. Though I don’t plan on finding that out for myself or anyone.
Before I say adios, here’s a shoutout to my childhood crushes (I wasn’t discriminating as an ’80s kid) who sang this song and this song which probably drove my parents nuts because I played my Menudo albums over and over.